John J. McGrath M.D., Ph.D.

John J. McGrath M.D., Ph.D.
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2019 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

John J. McGrath M.D., Ph.D.

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Niels Bohr Professor, Aarhus University

Director, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research

Conjoint Professor, Queensland Brain Institute

The University of Queensland
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bbrf awards icon Bio

Dr. John McGrath is a psychiatrist interested in discovering the causes of serious mental disorders. His research aims to generate and evaluate non-genetic risk factors for schizophrenia.

Dr. McGrath has forged productive cross-disciplinary collaborations linking risk-factor epidemiology with developmental neurobiology. For example, he and his colleagues have made discoveries linking prenatal vitamin D and later risk of mental illness in the offspring. In addition, he has supervised major systematic reviews of the epidemiology of schizophrenia.

Using the example of research linking low prenatal vitamin D and risk of schizophrenia, Dr. McGrath maintains that it is now time to sharpen our hypotheses and design the next generation of studies to refine our understanding of the modifiable risk factors for schizophrenia. “It is time we ‘think the unthinkable‘—that the primary prevention of schizophrenia is a tractable research question of considerable public health importance,” he says.

Dr. McGrath was awarded a John Cade Fellowship by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. In 2016 he was also awarded a Niels Bohr Professorship by the Danish National Research Foundation.

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